Bats are one of the most beneficial insect eating machines in North America and you want them around your house.
With some 1,300 species around the globe bats are one of the most important and misunderstood animals in the world. These insect devouring night hunters are considered a keystone species in many areas and have evolved as some of the most important pollinators and fertilizers known to man.
Since they live almost exclusively at night they can consume many of the thousands of insects, in a single evening, that are some of the most damaging bugs known to fly around your property.
Here are some of the ways that you can attract these nocturnal animals to your yard and keep them coming back to eat the things that are trying their darnedest to eat you and your garden.
1. Keep dead trees when possible
Many creatures will use nonliving trees as shelter including birds, small mammals, and of course bats. If the tree is not a threat to people or property it will provide a resting place for these animals and even some of the bugs that they eat. Having insects reside in a dead tree is much more desirable than the alternative.
2. Build or buy a bat house
In lieu of a dead tree, or particularly your house or barn, a well placed bat house will provide a great roosting spot. It will also give these night flyers an alternative to the buildings that you call home.
3. Plant flowers and herbs that attract yummy insects
Evening primrose for instance gives off a scent at night that attracts certain insects bats love to devour. Other flowers such as sweet rocket, and herbs like chive and marjoram will also attract the things that bats love to feast on.
4. Have water available
Particularly a pond will keep a colony of bats hydrated as well as birds. The insects that the water attracts will be a part of your friendly bat's diet in no time.
5. Keep it natural
Let vines grow on some trees and leave areas that you can to grow wild allowing bats to have the protection of cover. Some bats will use these areas to loaf in during the day.
Remember- use of pesticides against the bugs is chemically unforgiving and can have an undesired effect on your bat population. If you have to, use an organic brand, but don't forget: this is why you attracted the bats in the first place!
There are many misconceptions about bats that are only now becoming to be seen as myths. For instance bats are well known for their echolocation or 'radar' but they actually have very good eyesight. Bats are not all rabid, but like any animal can become so.
There are only three species on earth that feed on blood, and no, they won't get stuck in your hair. One of the biggest errors about bats is that they are not rodents, but mammals!
Try some of these tried and true methods to invite some of these great insect predators into your yard and you won't regret it.